We look at how the upcoming beat-em-up video game adaptation "Mortal Kombat" could hint at a big change in video game movies.

Ben Roberts, Content Director

March 19, 2021

2 Min Read
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With most adaptations critically panned or falling short at the box office – only to grow cult acclaim years later – video game movies have always been a tough market.

A video game property looking to change this is "Mortal Kombat," a franchise previously critiqued for its move into cinema in the ‘90s but now looks to revive the market with some style this year.

Launching on HBO Max and cinemas simultaneously, this gruesome, action-packed blockbuster stays true to its origins, keeping fans in mind and already garnering a lot of positive movement across social channels.

First impressions of the film have also arrived online, and reviews are looking good, but what does this mean for the brand and licensing world?

Some of the biggest movies set to arrive on the big screen are video game adaptations, including "Uncharted" (2021), "Resident Evil" (2021), "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" (2022) and "Super Mario" (2022). 

Following a lifetime of critical analysis, "Mortal Kombat" could prove the rule of "The Witcher" and add to the growing portfolio of video game adaptations that achieve high acclaim by staying true to its gaming heritage.

The trailer for "Mortal Kombat" became the most viewed red-band trailer of all time because of its fans.

A faithful adaptation offers fans another universe of touchpoints, reignites excitement in nostalgia or fan-favorite properties, as well as new on-ramps to the game for first-time players. 

"Resident Evil" is another property to announce a reboot that takes the story "back to its roots" and will undoubtedly set the internet on fire when the cast and release date emerges. "Super Mario" also looks to take the world's most famous plumber from live action back to his animated prime in 2022. 

More video game properties are reportedly entering production – such as Netflix's live-action adaptation of "The Division" or the highly-secretive "Halo" projects – hinting at an exciting future for video game properties.

"Mortal Kombat" is just one of many titles hinting at a significant change for the video game movie, all by staying true to the fans.


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Mortal Kombat

About the Author(s)

Ben Roberts

Content Director, License Global

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